Diagnosing Mental Disorders: Abnormal Stereotypes

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Abnormal psychology is the study of behaviors, emotions, or thoughts considered abnormal or unusual, which can then be categorized into mental disorders. There are a plethora of classification systems and models used to diagnose and determine mental disorders, including the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) and the Research Domain Criteria Project (RDoC). The DSM is a classification system that defines a disorder with a set of signs and symptoms. The RDoC aims to influence future DSMs by aiding in the understanding of what causes mental disorders, not just the signs and symptoms. Another useful tool for diagnosing mental disorders is the medical model of mental disorders. This model states that every mental disorder has a cause, which means theoretically, every disorder is treatable. These diagnostic tools can be extremely helpful when trying to determine the exact disorder an individual may have, but it can also be detrimental to those with said disorders. Many mental disorders have stigmas attached to them. Labelling disorders may help a person receive the proper care and treatment he or she…show more content…
In a world where everything is posted on social media, these platforms can be a great tool for discussing mental health and working to dispel stigmas and stereotypes. However, increasing awareness of mental disorders in the community can also have negative effects on the person with the disorder and the community surrounding him or her. As knowledge of a specific mental disorder increases in the general public, individuals may become hypervigilant to supposed “signs and symptoms” outlined in the DSM-5. The behaviors, thoughts, or emotions that characterize a specific mental disorder may be deemed dangerous by individuals that do not suffer from the disorder, even though the individual may not actually be a danger to himself or herself, or any other
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